Takayama’s Showa Kan (高山昭和館)

September 6th, 2010 in Photos

I love yard sales. Antique toys, obsolete electronics, that glorious, impossibly saturated color packaging, along with any and all ephemera from those Golden Eras. Of course, the notion of a Golden Era changes with each generation, and as for myself I will always see the late 80’s and early 90’s as the best time for a lot of things. 5.25″ diskettes, 8-bit, 16-bit, a sense of mystery and endless discoveries awaiting. Wikipedia-free, yet dreaming of cyberspace. HyperCard. Basically, seeing TRON or Blade Runner, not understanding any of the technology that could make it happen, combined with a youthful ignorance of the world’s problems, and a bliss that sort of unburdened optimism offered.

Away from home, I don’t connect as quickly with another country’s history through it’s branding history. Though, generally speaking, the better designed years have long since passed for many companies… So, when I say Japan’s Showa Era (1926–1989) produced some amazing specimens, I realize it is a painting a broad stroke over many years (some clearly worse than others). I often hear things described as “Showa” referencing the post-war period, much like we’d easily call out something that is so “70’s” or “80’s” back home.

None-the-less, Showa Era Japan was awesome, and the Showa Kan in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture helps affirm that statement.

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